Quite the journey. Over the course of The Walking Dead‘s 11 seasons, many stars have come and gone. While some have had shocking deaths — we’re still not over Glenn or Carl’s demises — other actors chose to leave the series.
Andrew Lincoln, who portrayed hero police officer Rick Grimes on the AMC drama from its 2010 debut, announced that he would be leaving the show in 2018 during season 9, leaving fans shocked and curious about how he would exit the zombie series.
“I love this show. It means everything to me. I love the people that make this show. I promise not to cry, I’ve done enough crying on screen,” he said at Comic-Con ahead of his final season. “I suppose what I wanted to say is that my relationship with Mr. Grimes is far from over. And a sort of large part of me will always be a machete-wielding, Stetson-wearing, zombie-slaying sheriff deputy from London, England.”
A source shared with Us Weekly at the time that the actor really wanted to do more movies, as well as spend more time at home. After his final episode, however, it was revealed that he definitely isn’t done with the Walking Dead universe. Instead, AMC is planning multiple Walking Dead films centered around the character Rick Grimes, and Lincoln is set to reprise his role.
Of course, not everyone is so lucky. Chandler Riggs exited the show in 2018 after appearing in the first eight seasons as Rick’s son Carl Grimes. It was not his choice to leave the show and didn’t plan to, but the character was killed off after being bitten by a zombie while saving another member of the town.
“I was planning on going to college until I found out,” Riggs told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017. “I found out when I was doing rehearsals for episode six back in June. It was quite the shocker for me, Andy and everyone because I don’t think anyone saw it coming. It’s definitely not a bad thing because it has been awesome being on the show, but now I get to go and do a lot of other stuff that I haven’t gotten to do before.”
Danai Gurira, who played fan favorite Michonne, exited the show after season 10. Unlike Carl, though, Michonne wasn’t killed off — she went on a mission to find Rick, who she (correctly) believes is still alive. Whether that means she returns in the movies remains to be seen, but fans are certainly hopeful.
Another spinoff of the hit series, Tales of The Walking Dead, premiered in August 2022.
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Keep scrolling to find out what other stars have been up to since leaving The Walking Dead: